Persepolis , literally meaning "city of Persians", was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of city of Shiraz in theFars Province in Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the citadel of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.

To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Pārsa . The English word Persepolis is derived from the GreekPersépolis (Περσέπολις), compound of Pérsēs (Πέρσης) and pólis (πόλις), meaning "Persian city". In modern Persian, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (تخت جمشید, "The Throne of Jamshid"), and Chehel minar (چهل منار, "The Forty Columns/Minarets").

Archaeological evidence shows that the earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BC. André Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Persepolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great (Kūrosh) who chose the site of Persepolis, but that it was Darius I (Daryush) who built the terrace and the great palaces.
Darius ordered the construction of the Apadana Palace and the Council Hall (the Tripylon or three-gated hall), the main imperial Treasury and its surroundings. These were completed during the reign of his son, King Xerxes the Great (New-Persian Khashayar, more correctly, khašāyāršā < OPers. xšāya-āršān, 'the greatest/king of the gallant youth/young men'). Further construction of the buildings on the terrace continued until the downfall of the Achaemenid dynasty.